Hey everyone, it’s good to be blogging again after so much wackiness from Real Life. Today we’re looking at the KatharSys System.
In Degenesis, characters have six Attributes that describe them. The six attributes are: Body, Agility, Charisma, Intellect, Psyche and Instinct.
Each Attribute has six Skills tied to them. These skills are:
BODY: Athletics, Brawl, Force, Melee, Stamina and Toughness
AGILITY: Crafting, Dexterity, Navigation, Mobility, Projectiles and Stealth
CHARISMA: Arts, Conduct, Expression, Leadership, Negotiation and Seduction
INTELLECT: Artifact Lore, Engineering, Focus, Legends, Medicine and Science
PSYCHE: Cunning, Deception, Domination, Faith, Reaction and Willpower
INSTINCT: Empathy, Orienteering, Perception, Primal, Survival and Taming
KatharSys relies on a simple formula to determine the difficulty of succeeding with a particular action. This Action Number is derived from adding a characters Attribute to his Skill. Modifiers can move this value up or down depending on circumstances that help or hinder the character.
In the event of an action with an uncertain outcome, a player assembles a pool of six-sided dice equal to the Action Number and rolls them. Every die that comes up a 4 or higher is counted as a Success.
If the Action Number is higher than 12, then all dice above 12 count as automatic Successes.
In order for an action to be successful, the player has to roll equal to or higher than the Difficulty of the roll. This Difficulty is expressed by a required number of successes, with 1 being routine, 4 as difficult, and 8 as almost impossible.
While dice that roll a 4 or higher count as Successes, 6’s also count as Triggers. Triggers are used to determine the quality of success (and as such only come into play when the roll succeeds in the first place.)
If a roll does not generate enough Successes to meet the Difficulty of a roll, then the attempt fails. However, if the roll fails and more dice roll 1’s than Successes, then it counts as a Botch.
At this point the rules discuss iterations of the basics, including resolving Contested rolls between characters, Teamwork and Extended rolls.
The one iteration that I feel needs special mention would be Combinations. Combinations are used in situations when two different actions need to be done in almost the same time. The book mentions an example where a character had to spur his horse on and steer it towards a target and cut his target down with a sword stroke. It’s a clever way of doing things and it certainly helps the game feel faster.
Overall, KatharSys is not going to revolutionize the industry, but it’s a rock solid system. There are tried and true rules strung together to serve as a backbone for the game, and the math involved reminds me of the Ubiquity System used in Hollow Earth Expedition.
That said, there are nice touches here and there, like the Combinations rules, and the Triggers.
In our next entry for this series we’ll take on Character Creation and see what a character looks like in this edition of Degenesis.
If you’re looking to get yourself a copy of the game, check them out at http://degenesis.com/